Korean food, Super Mario Brothers 2, and paintings found in Siberia: JINCHALO artist on inspiration

“ARTSWEEK: Korean chronicles” / The Montreal Mirror / Rupert Bottenberg / February 16, 2012

Back in 2008, the Mirror front-paged the D&Q “petit livre” Ojingogo, gathering the fantastical funny business of the webcomic Montrealer Matt Forsythe had begun while teaching English in Korea. The fragmentary nature of Ojingogo’s online iteration didn’t favour a conventional story, but suited the capricious capers of its petite protagonist Voguchi and her goblin associates.

Forsythe says his new follow-up D&Q book, Jinchalo, “was developed the same way, only offline. There was only the loosest of outlines even towards the end.” Inspiration for the book, he says, came from “Korean food and folk tales, Super Mario Brothers 2 and a painting I found in Siberia of a walking bird wearing a very small hat.”

As oblique as the book’s arc may be, Voguchi has been sculpted into a clear, strong personality—and not always the most honourable or gracious. “There’s a sequence in the book where she rolls out of the comic, drags me into the strip and yells at me, berating me for showing her in a bad light. That pretty much sums up our relationship.”

Forsythe launches Jinchalo at Drawn & Quarterly (211 Bernard W.) tonight, Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. Free.

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